Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.

Despite prolonged summery conditions are you feeling a wee bit weird?

If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the autumn and continue into the colder and bleaker winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

Less often, though equally disruptive to health, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy.

Don't simply try to shake off any 'downward' feeling as simply being a case of the "winter blues", take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

Symptoms

Most symptoms for SAD appear during late autumn or early winter and reduces as the sunnier days of spring and summer return. Symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Of course, these symptoms can point to longer, larger and more serious illness or conditions.

Please consult a specialist at the earliest opportunity,